American-Made Challenges

 13,923

Office of Technology Transitions EnergyTech University Prize

Tasking student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages lab-developed and other high-potential energy technologies.
stage:
Enter
prize:
$250,000
Overview

Challenge Overview

Sponsored by the Office of Technology Transitions (OTT) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP) is a collegiate competition challenging multidisciplinary student teams to develop and present a business plan that leverages DOE national laboratory-developed and other high-potential energy technologies. EnergyTech UP awards cash prizes to teams that successfully identify an energy technology, assess its market potential, and propose a strategy for commercialization.

The EnergyTech University Prize (EnergyTech UP), in partnership with American-Made Challenges, is designed to be approachable, equitable, and scalable nationwide.  ​Distinct from many startup competitions, winners will be chosen based on the strength of their proposal, not the strength of their background. 

Start by Reading the Official Rules document. 

Then explore possible technology opportunities on the Lab Partnering Service

View a 90-Second Explainer Video by Deputy Secretary David Turk

Watch a Recording of our Informational Webinar.

Prize Structure

Student teams compete for a total of $250,000 in cash prizes as they explore business opportunities for lab-developed or other high-potential energy technologies, assess commercialization opportunities through market analysis, and present a viable business plan to industry judges. Throughout the competition, they receive mentorship and materials to help them succeed.

The top teams will compete for a share of $100,000 in prizes funded by OTT. In addition, six DOE Technology Offices are offering up to $25,000 each in bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields. The six offices include: the Geothermal Technology Office, Solar Energy Technology Office, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Building Technology Office, and the Water Power and Technologies Office.

Understanding that energy is often inherently local, teams first present at their closest regional events in February 2022, where regional winners are identified. First-place regional winners are provided exclusive mentorship and free access to OTT’s Energy I-Corps curriculum to help students refine their ideas throughout February and March. Finally, the regional winners pitch their complete business plan at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU’s) Energy Week, hosted by CMU’s Scott Institute in March 2022.

 

 

Important Dates

  • October 4, 2021: EnergyTech UP launches and Explore Phase opens
  • January 31, 2022: Explore Phase registration closes
  • February 2022: Teams pitch at regional events
  • March 2022: Refine Phase opens for Regional Winners
  • March 24, 2022: Pitch Phase opens and teams pitch at CMU Energy Week
  • March 2022: Winners announced
Timeline
Updates 12

Challenge Updates

EnergyTech UP Announces Regional Explore Event Dates

Jan. 25, 2022, 1:45 p.m. PST by Joe Simon

We are thrilled to announce the dates for each Regional Convener's Explore Event. At this time, all Explore Events are expected to be held virtually.  

RegionConvenerExplore Event Date
Appalachia University of KentuckyFebruary 24, 2022
CaliforniaUniversity of California San DiegoFebruary 24, 2022
Carolinas Research Triangle Cleantech ClusterFebruary 23, 2022
Great Lakes Evergreen Climate InnovationsFebruary 24, 2022
U.S. Islands (Hawaii, PR, USVI, etc.)Elemental ExceleratorFebruary 24, 2022
Mid-Atlantic Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie Mellon UniversityFebruary 24, 2022
Mountain West Exponential ImpactFebruary 17, 2022
NortheastCleantech Open Northeast, NECECFebruary 16, 2022
New York Tri-State Area Syracuse UniversityFebruary 18, 2022
Northern Plains Grid CatalystFebruary 23, 2022
Northwest Portland State University, University of Washington, and Launch AlaskaFebruary 11, 2022
South University of ArkansasFebruary 25, 2022
Southeast Florida High Tech Corridor CouncilFebruary 23, 2022
Southwest University of Arizona Center for InnovationFebruary 28, 2022
TexasGreentown Labs HoustonFebruary 24, 2022

During the first phase of the competition, students explore business and energy technology opportunities and present their findings at an Explore Event, hosted by Regional Convening organizations. At the end of the event, judges will identify the top team selected to move on to the national competition in March at Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU’s) Energy Week, hosted by CMU’s Scott Institute. Teams compete in the region closest geographically to their team captain's collegiate institution. 

Please review the rules for full details on competing in the regional Explore Events.

EnergyTech UP relies on partnerships with organizations like these to deliver impactful pitch events for students. We are excited to work closely with the regional conveners and believe all competitors will benefit from their participation in a regional Explore event. 

Don't forget to register your team and submit your concept on HeroX by Jan. 31, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET. 

Still have questions? Join an upcoming informational chat session to get real-time answers (students, faculty, or anyone else interested in the prize are invited to attend). You can also send questions to or post a question to the public HeroX forum for community and prize administrator feedback.   

We look forward to seeing what innovative ideas students come up with for these technologies! 


YOU’RE INVITED: DOE Roundtable on Accelerating Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology and Adoption in the Midwest

Jan. 25, 2022, 1:20 p.m. PST by NREL Challenge

Tomorrow, Jan. 26, join a roundtable event to learn about opportunities for cold climate heat pump technologies, including how the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is transforming the heating and cooling marketplace, making affordable, clean, and efficient solutions easily available across America.

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will host a virtual roundtable, Accelerating Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology and Adoption in the Midwest,” a conversation with state representatives, manufacturers, and utilities about shifting the market to more-efficient, clean cold climate heat pumps for consumers, to help reach the Biden Administration’s goal of a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

As a reminder, one of the EnergyTech UP bonus prizes offers a $25,000 prize to a team that focuses on cold climate heat pump technology. Whether you’re thinking about competing with this type of energy technology or you’re still looking for a technology to create your business plan around, we highly recommend attending this event to learn more about key issues and opportunities in this space. 

Tune in on Zoom or follow the Livestream at 10 a.m. ET. Guest speakers will include:

  • Jennifer M. Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy
  • Kelly Speakes-Backman, EERE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
  • Tina Smith, U.S. Senator (MN)
  • Michelle Gransee, State Energy Office Director, Minnesota Department of Commerce
  • Christopher Clark, President of Northern States Power, Xcel Energy
  • Katie McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability, External Relations Officer, Johnson Controls
  • Greg Ridderbusch, Chief Executive Officer, Connexus Energy

Join the event to learn more about how you could apply these concepts to your EnergyTech UP submission for the chance to win the Building Technologies Office bonus prize.


Final Week to Register Your Team for the Inaugural EnergyTech UP!

Jan. 24, 2022, 12:28 p.m. PST by NREL Challenge

There’s still time to register for the EnergyTech University Prize and compete for a share of more than $250,000—no science or business background required! This unique competition is open to post-secondary students in all disciplines who are interested in creating business plans that have the potential to bring cutting-edge energy technologies to market.

If you’re just deciding to compete, there’s still time to get what you need for a complete submission! Here’s how to get started:

  1. Sign up on the HeroX competition platform to receive updates and check out the official competition rules
  2. Check out this list of promising energy research, or find other promising energy technologies that you’re excited about, and select one that inspires you.
  3. Build your team by finding at least one other teammate and start developing a business plan for your selected energy technology.
  4. Register your team and submit your concept on HeroX by Monday, Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. ET. 
    1. To enter, you’ll just need a short summary of the technology to be leveraged and the business opportunity, along with a slide deck featuring an overview of the concept. See complete submission rules for details.

Still have questions? Join an upcoming informational chat session to get real-time answers (students, faculty, or anyone else interested in the prize are invited to attend). You can also send questions to or post a question to the public HeroX forum for community and prize administrator feedback.   

We look forward to seeing what innovative ideas students come up with for these technologies! 


Updated Rules: Bonus Technology-Focused Prizes

Jan. 11, 2022, 7:30 a.m. PST by Caity Smith

Is your EnergyTech UP team planning on competing for one of the six available technology bonus prizes for an extra $25,000? Review the updated rules to find new details on each technology bonus prize. 

Six DOE Technology Offices are offering up to $25,000 each in technology bonus prizes for the best teams in their respective fields. The six offices include: 

  • Building Technologies Office
  • Geothermal Technologies Office
  • Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management
  • Office of Nuclear Energy
  • Solar Energy Technologies Office
  • Water Power Technologies Office.

New details around each technology office’s bonus prize requirements can be found in the updated rules. Each office has specified areas of interest, background knowledge, and resources to help students identify an applicable technology.

Make sure that you review these documents to ensure that your business plan meets the requirements for your specific technology bonus prize. 

As a reminder, the deadline to register your team and submit your initial deliverables for the regional Explore Events is Jan. 31, at 5 p.m. ET. For further details, please see updated competition rules. You can send questions to  or post a question to the public HeroX forum for community and prize administrator feedback. 


Ask Questions at EnergyTech UP Informational Chat

Jan. 10, 2022, 8:30 a.m. PST by Jackie Petre

Still have questions about the EnergyTech University Prize? Sign up for a casual informational chat with the prize administrators. 

The EnergyTech UP team is hosting a final series of informational chats for anyone with remaining questions about the prize. These chats are your chance to talk to the prize administrators one-on-one and get all of your questions answered or to learn more about the competition ahead of the Jan. 31 submission deadline. Students, faculty, or anyone else interested in the prize are invited to attend.

Join an informational chat on one of the days and times listed below by clicking the link to register.

You can also submit a question to or post a question to the public HeroX forum for community and prize administrator feedback. 

We look forward to talking to you at one of the informational chats! 


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